On 20th April 2023, three of our digital marketing experts headed down to the Brighton Centre to attend the world’s largest search marketing conference, complete with training courses, speakers and talks from industry leaders. With more than 5000+ attendees from 50+ countries, the event attracts search marketers from across the globe, keen to dive further into the world of search marketing. This blog outlines our top 5 key takeaways from this year’s Brighton SEO conference, and how we will be using the new ideas we gleaned to further help our clients reach their digital marketing objectives.
TikTok for Search
Now available in over 250 countries, with more than 1 billion users, it’s evident that a lot of B2C businesses should be seriously considering leveraging TikTok in 2023. Speaker Rachel Pearson gave the team further insight into how TikTok could be particularly valuable for several of our clients and the role of this hugely popular social media platform in modern day search.
So, is TikTok the new Google? Put simply no. TikTok is first and foremost a social media platform dedicated to short-form videos. However, for Gen Z, TikTok represents a new search engine option, and the place where a steadily widening demographic of users turn to search for answers. After all, would you rather have to read through a long article to find your answer, or watch a short, entertaining video?
It’s clear TikTok has its space in the market, and isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, so how as a business should you be using TikTok to drive leads and boost brand awareness?
- 80% of the ‘for you page’ is content you haven’t chosen to follow. TikTok’s algorithm shows you the content they think you will find interesting, based on user behaviour. As a business, this means that getting your name out there can be a lot quicker than that of Google or other social media platforms, where it takes time to grow.
- Previously, 30 hashtags on a social media post was the key to reaching targeted audiences. However, the TikTok algorithm can see this as spammy, and 3 targeted hashtags is more than enough. To further optimise your caption, other best practices to improve visibility include keyword research and subtitles.
- Paid social can be expensive, but it seems that TikTok still has a low barrier to entry, with little budget helping to rapidly boost views and grow your follower base. Putting some budget behind your TikTok is recommended for companies first starting out on the platform, keen to grow.
- Finally, you are no longer penalised or removing underperforming content. So, if a post doesn’t give you the traction you think it should, it’s possible to experiment with A/B testing. That includes optimising your content with new music, a different caption or even reposting the content at a different time of day to identify what the target audience engages with best.
The Future of SEO
With the development of AI and Google’s ever-changing algorithm, future-proofing your content strategy in modern SEO takes thought and data insight. The team attended an insightful talk at Brighton SEO by Carlos Meza, who discussed the different types of content you can create to capture more organic traffic and improve audience engagement in 2023.
- Firstly, he spoke about interactive, multi-asset content. Ultimately, interactive content is all about improving the user experience. Where only 45% of clicks to a website get more than 15 seconds of attention, it’s hard to stand out when today’s audience is inundated with information. However, providing the audience with an immersive, personalised experience will keep them engaged for longer and encourages user participation.
- Another way of improving engagement is through evoking emotions. Did you know content that promotes a feeling of awe is 34% likely to be shared and anger an even higher, 38% likely? However, content that evokes low-arousal emotions such as sadness is less likely to be shared, highlighting that emotions can shape content virality.
- Your audience loves authenticity and vulnerability. Before publishing a piece, you should ask yourself: ‘Does this give the reader something to relate to?’
- Another question you should be considering is: ‘What is my audience going to thank me for?’ How has your content helped the reader?
- Finally, Meza spoke about artificial intelligence, and how we can stand out against AI in the future of SEO. There’s no denying that the likes of ChatGPT can be incredibly beneficial, however they should be utilised with caution, as they can have a detrimental effect on your rankings. It is better to leverage AI for productivity, rather than for writing your content for you. After all, quality is better than quantity. And whilst AI can write your content in a matter of minutes, it’s the authenticity and quality of the content that will help you stand out against competitors and boost your business to the top.
Cognitive Load Theory
We also took part in a session based on an element of the psychology of marketing given by Emma Russell around Cognitive Load Theory. We know that, in order to market your business effectively, you need to understand the psychology behind the people you’re marketing to. This isn’t news, we already use numerous techniques to define and understand our clients ICP (Ideal Client Profile) and personas as well as how to reach and engage with them effectively. However, the presentation around Cognitive Load Theory was fascinating and certainly deepened our understanding of the importance of psychology in Marketing.
What is Cognitive Load Theory?
Cognitive load theory relates to how much we can store in our working memory at one time. If there is too much cognitive load, this can negatively impact how people perform and react to tasks.
How Does Cognitive Load Theory Impact Businesses?
To avoid overwhelming customers and prospects, it’s important to ensure your marketing message and content is clear. For example:
A website should:
- clearly show what a business offers without the user needing any prior context or knowledge
- be simple and easy to search and navigate
- easily guide a user to progress their buyers’ journey towards purchase or other conversion with clear pathways towards those goals
(source: Gerard Learning Design)
The next psychology-related talk that the team attended at the Brighton SEO conference was by Giulia Panozzo – a former neuroscientist, talking about the neuroscience of search. As part of her talk, Giulia discussed the impact of heuristics on decision making in marketing.
What Are Heuristics?
Heuristics are cognitive biases that we unknowingly use to help us process and interpret information to make a decision.
Examples of some of the heuristics discussed:
- Numerical biases such as distance and size effect can impact how we are able to judge differences between numbers. For example, if you’re running a promotion on a car and say ‘save £4999 on your next car’ people won’t be able to understand the value you’re offering as quickly compared with if you state the percentage such as ‘save 20% on your next car’.
- Negativity biases mean that unfortunately we tend to focus on the negatives rather than the positives! In marketing, research found that titles with negative superlatives had 30% higher CTR compared to baseline and positive superlatives had 29% less
Transform Your Digital Results with Innovation Visual
The team found the learnings from Brighton SEO fascinating, particularly the elements of psychology that can be used to enhance a digital marketing strategy, emphasising the importance of understanding what resonates with your target market.
Equipped with just the expertise you need, at our Surrey based digital marketing agency, we deliver exceptional results through real, data driven digital marketing that actually works. We ensure our team of specialists are up to date with modern research and expertise that ensure your business comes out on top. So, if you’re looking for the right SEO expertise to improve your organic rankings and increase your website visibility, get in touch today.